Friday, December 31, 2010

Petra: City in Stone

Storyline - When Cassia's abusive husband dies, she and her son go in search of family in the city of Petra where it is discovered that her son is a prince. But after going to the palace and telling the royal family about what happened, her son is taken from her and she is sent away. As she tries to get her son back and save him from a jealous queen/priestess, Hagiru, Cassia makes friends of these people who worship in one God and trust in a redeemer by the name of Jesus. One of the followers of Jesus is a man named Julian who is running and trying to hide  from a painful past and hurtful failures. Yet he is also being ask to be the future leader of the church in Petra. Can these two find their way to trust Jesus and accept his love or will they continue to fight under their own power to find what they are looking for and save Cassia's son.

Author - T. L. Higley

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - The believers in God prayed for their enemies at one time in the book which is refreshing because in most stories, and in life, people who someone doesn't like are considered not worth their time or energy. The troubles were believable and their resistance and fight against going and relying on God was real and understandable. Everyone tries to do things and fix things under their own power  and it is a struggle for them to place their entire trust and themselves God's hands. Their are people today who change themselves so others might accept them, like one of the character in the book, and don't understand how someone, even God, can love them for who they are and that they can be strong through Christ and that standing alone doesn't make you strong. Both of the main characters are running from something and it is only when they come to God that they can accomplish their goals. The queen/priestess was creepy when she prayed to her gods and desired power no matter how she got it.

Personal Opinion - I was really excited when I found out that the city seen in the 3rd Indiana Jones movie was actually a real city (that wasn't a set or prop) which had people living in it and was called Petra. The book was exciting and interesting and I understood the characters and their troubles. I do wish that Julian's background was covered more in the book but it looks like a new book, Pompeii: City on Fire, is about his parents so that isn't too bad. The author even creeped me out with the description of Hagiru, the queen/priestess, with her communications with her gods and her hatred of others and Alexander. The book went together well, the struggle and coming of faith within each character was beliefable and understandable and didn't leave you going "how did they get to that point?" Even though most of the book was brought together at the end nicely I still wondered about one character, Obadas, who was Hagiru's son, and what happened to him. Also, it was a little different having a prophet character in the book who saw the future and spoke to God and then God spoke back but that was probably because I never read a book like that so it was just new for me. I do believe in prophets and that God speaks to people, some more directly than others, but it was just different. The ending was a bit abrupt in my opinion but still good. All in all, good book and definitely recommended, especially for those who like adventure, historical stories, and ancient cities. No passport or time machine is required to go on an adventure in this mysterious city.

Links - More information can be found on Petra and other books by this author and the author herself at the Publisher's Website and Tracy Higley's Website.

Updated - November 11, 2012

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Monday, December 20, 2010

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie review

Went to the new Narnia movie on the 19th and it was great. It begins with the Lucy and Edmund at their cousin's house, Eustace, when they are taken back to Narnia through a painting, their cousin along with them. There, they meet Caspian again and go on a voyage on the Eastern Sea to find seven lost Lords who served his father. But also they have to find seven swords and lay them at Aslan's Table in order to stop some evil that originates from an island.  At the end of the journey is said to be Aslan's Country and what sort of wonderful things are there are just waiting to be seen.With each island, they meet one adversity or another and have many temptations, each with their own consequence. Their are many battles and enemies along the way that they have to fight to finally get to their destination and complete their quest.

Their are a lot of great things in this movie. I loved the scene when Aslan talks to Lucy after he temptation and I loved the relationship of Reepicheep and Eustace, especially after he becomes a dragon. The story stays to the original book well but the situations and islands are all out of order from the book but that is quite forgivable. Also, even though they White Witch is in the film, that is also okay because of how they worked her in and it makes sense.

Despite all the good, there were some problems. The transition between one island and another was at times uncomfortable and choppy. At least the Lone Island was a little rushed to me so it was difficult to absorb before they left for another island but that was probably because of time restraints. The biggest problem I had was when Edmund and Caspian were tempted and it wasn't Aslan that brought them back but another character that fixed it. Also, Dark Island seemed to be conquered by the characters as well instead of Aslan (if it was Aslan in some way, they didn't make it very clear).

The acting was good and the characters portrayed the temptations of today such as being beautiful and greed wonderfully. The casting was great as well; the boy who played Eustace was a wonderful nuisance and when he changed you did like him and the captain of the Dawn Treader was good too, I could see a captain behave like him and could also see him as a captain of a ship (but maybe I just like the accent). I really like the animation, Reepicheep was great with is hair color (and I liked how much he got to talk in the film and his personality was really developed and made you even more attached to him than before as something more than just a fighting mouse), Eustace's eyes and dragon look was cool, and Aslan's color was perfect (I remember being irritated in Prince Caspian when he didn't look like a normal lion, his hair color was off and it just bugged me something terrible). The design of the sets and the Dawn Treader its self brings back how things looked and felt before Prince Caspian which was beautiful and wonderful. The movie was filled with these images and helped if feel bright and uplifting. I feel this movie was better than Prince Caspian but I still like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe better because it ran smoother than this one from one situation to the next. I also wish Aslan was in the film more and that the overcoming of temptations and the evil of the world was attributed more to him but I know for sure that I will be buying this movie when it comes out on DVD.

If you want to know more about the movie, check out its website at:

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Coming Soon

Sorry about there not being any new posts for a while. With school and finals and presentations and textbooks and trying to find a new school, I'm just not reading like I usually do and I am probably watching to much TV. But, I am hoping to have some new reviews here soon (probably over Christmas break) and here is a few of the books that will be coming up:

Petra by T. H. Higley - A faithful widow and her son are surprised to learn he is heir to the throne in the epic rock-hewn city of Petra. Upon learning the news, the bloodthirsty queen begins to plot his murder.

The Limit by Kristen Landon - In a world not too far removed from our own, kids are being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed the monthly debt limit imposed by the government. Thirteen-year-old Matt briefly wonders if he might be next.

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore - Nine alien teenagers are hiding on Earth. Three are dead. Number Four is next. This is the launch of a gripping, action-packed series already optioned for film by Steven Spielberg for DreamWorks. (Just waiting for library to get it in.)

Good Recorces for Writers - This post will be about two books that are helpful for writing (one is really good if writing fantasy) and good if need to look anything.

More on the How to Train You Dragon Series.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie review - I love the Narnia movies and books so I will probably write about the movie here.

Also, I hope to be putting up an excerpt from the book I am writing soon, I just have to get farther in the edits. I hope that will be exciting and I hope that these books will spark some interests. Also, if anyone has any ideas on how to make this blog better, go ahead and leave a comment on this post. Thanks for stopping! The Limit, I am Number Four, and Petra information was copied and pasted from